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Molecules, Volume 27, Issue 20 (October-2 2022) – 368 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Molecular dyes are finding more applications in photonics and quantum technologies, such as polaritonic optical microcavities and organic quantum batteries. In both cases, it is of crucial importance to characterize the dephasing mechanisms. In this work, we use two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy (2DES) to study the temperature-dependent dephasing processes in the prototypical organic dye Lumogen-F orange. We model the 2DES maps by using the Bloch equations for a two-level system and obtain a dephasing time of T2 = 53 fs at room temperature, which increases to T2 = 94 fs at 86 K. Furthermore, spectral diffusion processes are observed and modeled by a combination of underdamped and overdamped Brownian oscillators. Our results provide useful design parameters for advanced optoelectronic and photonic devices incorporating dye molecules. View this paper
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16 pages, 5823 KiB  
Article
Glycerol-Based Retrievable Heterogeneous Catalysts for Single-Pot Esterification of Palm Fatty Acid Distillate to Biodiesel
by Balkis Hazmi, Mahnoush Beygisangchin, Umer Rashid, Wan Nur Aini Wan Mokhtar, Toshiki Tsubota, Ali Alsalme and Chawalit Ngamcharussrivichai
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7142; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207142 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1850
Abstract
The by-product of the previous transesterification, glycerol was utilised as an acid catalyst precursor for biodiesel production. The crude glycerol was treated through the sulfonation method with sulfuric acid and chlorosulfonic acid in a reflux batch reactor giving solid glycerol-SO3H and [...] Read more.
The by-product of the previous transesterification, glycerol was utilised as an acid catalyst precursor for biodiesel production. The crude glycerol was treated through the sulfonation method with sulfuric acid and chlorosulfonic acid in a reflux batch reactor giving solid glycerol-SO3H and glycerol-ClSO3H, respectively. The synthesised acidic glycerol catalysts were characterised by various analytical techniques such as thermalgravimetric analyser (TGA), infrared spectroscopy, surface properties adsorption-desorption by nitrogen gas, ammonia-temperature programmed desorption (NH3-TPD), X-ray diffraction spectroscopy (XRD), elemental composition analysis by energy dispersive spectrometer (EDX) and surface micrographic morphologies by field emission electron microscope (FESEM). Both glycerol-SO3H and glycerol-ClSO3H samples exhibited mesoporous structures with a low surface area of 8.85 mm2/g and 4.71 mm2/g, respectively, supported by the microscopic image of blockage pores. However, the acidity strength for both catalysts was recorded at 3.43 mmol/g and 3.96 mmol/g, which is sufficient for catalysing PFAD biodiesel at the highest yield. The catalytic esterification was optimised at 96.7% and 98.2% with 3 wt.% of catalyst loading, 18:1 of methanol-PFAD molar ratio, 120 °C, and 4 h of reaction. Catalyst reusability was sustained up to 3 reaction cycles due to catalyst deactivation, and the insight investigation of spent catalysts was also performed. Full article
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15 pages, 1746 KiB  
Article
Development and Optimization of a New UPLC-UV/MS Method through DoE and MLR for Detecting Substandard Drug Products to Treat Tuberculosis
by Javier Suárez-González, Amor R. Cáceres-Pérez, Alexis Oliva, Ana Santoveña-Estévez and José B. Fariña
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7141; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207141 - 21 Oct 2022
Viewed by 2177
Abstract
Drug products used for treating tuberculosis are one of the most widely reported medicines to be classified as falsified or substandard in low- and middle-income countries, representing a major hazard to health. The aim of this study was, firstly, to develop an ultra-performance [...] Read more.
Drug products used for treating tuberculosis are one of the most widely reported medicines to be classified as falsified or substandard in low- and middle-income countries, representing a major hazard to health. The aim of this study was, firstly, to develop an ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) method which is able to analyze fixed combination tablets with up to four active pharmaceutical ingredients, including isoniazid, pyrazinamide, rifampicin, and ethambutol. Secondly, we aimed to optimize it through the design of experiments and multi-linear regression based on a central composite design and to validate it according to the guidelines of the International Conference on Harmonization. The application of this tools enabled the identification of the influential factors (flow rate, formic acid, and temperature) and their effects on the studied responses (retention factor and percentage for each drug) as part of the quality by design approach. The method proved to be to be linear in the range from 5.0 to 15 µg/mL for isoniazid, pyrazinamide, and rifampicin, being precise (<1%) and accurate (97–101%). In addition, the method validated for ethambutol proved to be linear from 1.4 to 4.2 µg/mL, as well as precise (0.54%) and accurate (97.3%). The method was stability indicated for all the active pharmaceutical ingredients studied and was able to detect two substandard formulations sampled on the African market. Full article
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19 pages, 1888 KiB  
Article
Isolation, Structural Characterization, and Hypoglycemic Activities In Vitro of Polysaccharides from Pleurotus eryngii
by Pin Gong, Hui Long, Yuxi Guo, Siyuan Wang, Fuxin Chen and Xuefeng Chen
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7140; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207140 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1877
Abstract
Pleurotus eryngii (PE) is an edible mushroom with high nutritional value. Pleurotus eryngii polysaccharides (PEPs) are one of the main active ingredients and manifest a great variety of biological activities. This study mainly focused on the chemical characterization and biological activities of PEPs, [...] Read more.
Pleurotus eryngii (PE) is an edible mushroom with high nutritional value. Pleurotus eryngii polysaccharides (PEPs) are one of the main active ingredients and manifest a great variety of biological activities. This study mainly focused on the chemical characterization and biological activities of PEPs, which were separated into two fractions (named WPS and P-1). WPS is mainly dominated by β-glycosidic bonds and contains α-glycosidic bonds, and P-1 only contains α-glycosidic bonds. The molecular weights of WPS and P-1 were 4.5 × 105 Da and 2.2 × 104 Da. The result of GC indicated that two the fractions were composed of rhamnose, arabinose, xylose, mannose, glucose, and galactose, with a ratio of 0.35:0.24:0.45:0.24:28.78:1.10 for WPS and 0.95:0.64:0.66:1.84:60.69:0.67 for P-1. The advanced structure studies indicated that the two fractions had no triple-helical structure, where WPS had a dense structure and P-1 had a loose structure. In addition, the antioxidant activity of WPS surpassed P-1, and the two fractions also exhibited a high hypoglycemic activity via inhibiting α-glycosidase activities and promoting the expression of PI3K-AKT signaling pathway based on in vitro assay and cell experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Polysaccharides: Structure, Properties and Application)
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14 pages, 1644 KiB  
Article
Discoloration Investigations of Yellow Lantern Pepper Sauce (Capsicum chinense Jacq.) Fermented by Lactobacillus plantarum: Effect of Carotenoids and Physiochemical Indices
by Mengjuan Chen, Xinyao Wang, Yang Liu, Pao Li, Rongrong Wang and Liwen Jiang
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7139; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207139 - 21 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1689
Abstract
Color is one of the important indicators affecting the quality of fermented pepper sauces, and it is closely related to carotenoid composition. This study systematically analyzed the changes in carotenoids and related physiochemical indices during the fermentation of yellow lantern pepper sauce. The [...] Read more.
Color is one of the important indicators affecting the quality of fermented pepper sauces, and it is closely related to carotenoid composition. This study systematically analyzed the changes in carotenoids and related physiochemical indices during the fermentation of yellow lantern pepper sauce. The CIELab color values indicated that L* and C* displayed a significant decreasing trend during fermentation. After 35 days of fermentation, the total carotenoid content significantly reduced from 3446.36 to 1556.50 μg/g DW (p < 0.05), and the degradation rate was 54.84%. Among them, the total content of carotene decreased by 56.03% during fermentation, whereas the degradation rate of xanthophylls and their esters was 44.47%. According to correlation analysis, violaxanthin myristate and lutein played a pivotal role in L*, a *, b *, chroma (C*), and yellowness index (YI). Moreover, PCA analysis indicated that lactic acid and acetic acid were the important qualities affecting the stability of pigment in fermented yellow lantern pepper sauce, which might also be the inducement of the color change. This work gives additional information concerning the discoloration of yellow lantern pepper sauce during fermentation and provides theory evidence regulating and improving the sensory qualities of yellow lantern pepper sauce. Full article
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9 pages, 7881 KiB  
Article
Highly Z-Selective Horner–Wadsworth–Emmons Olefination Using Modified Still–Gennari-Type Reagents
by Ignacy Janicki and Piotr Kiełbasiński
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7138; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207138 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2186
Abstract
In this report, new, easily accessible reagents for highly Z-selective HWE reactions are presented. Alkyl di-(1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoroisopropyl)phosphonoacetates, structurally similar to Still–Gennari type reagents, were tested in HWE reactions with a series of various aldehydes. Very good Z-selectivity (up to a 98:2 Z [...] Read more.
In this report, new, easily accessible reagents for highly Z-selective HWE reactions are presented. Alkyl di-(1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoroisopropyl)phosphonoacetates, structurally similar to Still–Gennari type reagents, were tested in HWE reactions with a series of various aldehydes. Very good Z-selectivity (up to a 98:2 Z:E ratio) was achieved in most cases along with high yields. Application of the new reagents may be a valuable, practical alternative to the well-established Still–Gennari or Ando Z-selective carbonyl group olefination protocols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organophosphorus Chemistry: A New Perspective)
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27 pages, 3016 KiB  
Review
Detection of Synthetic Antioxidants: What Factors Affect the Efficiency in the Chromatographic Analysis and in the Electrochemical Analysis?
by Danielle Gonçalves-Filho and Djenaine De Souza
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7137; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207137 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2285
Abstract
Antioxidants are food additives largely employed to inhibit oxidative reactions in foodstuffs rich in oils and fat lipids, extending the shelf life of foodstuffs and inhibiting alterations in color, flavor, smell, and loss of nutritional value. However, various research has demonstrated that the [...] Read more.
Antioxidants are food additives largely employed to inhibit oxidative reactions in foodstuffs rich in oils and fat lipids, extending the shelf life of foodstuffs and inhibiting alterations in color, flavor, smell, and loss of nutritional value. However, various research has demonstrated that the inadequate use of synthetic antioxidants results in environmental and health problems due to the fact that some of these compounds present toxicity, and their presence in the human body, in high concentrations, is related to the development of some cancer types and other diseases. Therefore, the development of analytical methods for identifying and quantifying synthetic antioxidants in foodstuffs is fundamental to quality control and in ensuring consumer food safety. This review describes the recent chromatographic and electrochemical techniques used in the detection of synthetic phenolic antioxidants in foodstuffs, highlighting the main characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of these methods, and specific typical features, which include extraction methods for sample preparation and materials used in the working electrode construction, considering chromatographic and voltammetric methods, since these specific features influence the efficiency in the analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Analytical Chemistry)
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14 pages, 2804 KiB  
Article
Antibacterial Efficacy and Mechanisms of Curcumin-Based Photodynamic Treatment against Staphylococcus aureus and Its Application in Juices
by Yuan Yuan, Qingyan Liu, Yanjun Huang, Mengyuan Qi, Haiyang Yan, Wenliang Li and Hong Zhuang
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7136; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207136 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1871
Abstract
Antimicrobial Photodynamic Treatment (aPDT) is a non-thermal sterilization technology, which can inactivate common foodborne pathogens. In the present study, photodynamic inactivation on Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) with different concentrations of curcumin and light dose was evaluated and the mechanisms were also [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial Photodynamic Treatment (aPDT) is a non-thermal sterilization technology, which can inactivate common foodborne pathogens. In the present study, photodynamic inactivation on Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) with different concentrations of curcumin and light dose was evaluated and the mechanisms were also investigated. The results showed that curcumin-based aPDT could inactivate S. aureus cells by 6.9 log CFU/mL in phosphate buffered saline (PBS). Moreover, the modified Gompertz model presented a good fit at the inactivation data of S. aureus. Photodynamic treatment caused cell membrane damage as revealed by analyzing scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images. Leakage of intracellular constituents further indicated that cell membrane permeability was changed. Flow cytometry with double staining demonstrated that cell membrane integrity and the activity of nonspecific esterase were destroyed. Compared with the control group, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels caused by photodynamic treatment significantly increased. Furthermore, curcumin-based aPDT reduced S. aureus by 5 log CFU/mL in juices. The color of the juices was also tested using a Chromatic meter, and it was found that b* values were the most markedly influenced by photodynamic treatment. Overall, curcumin-based aPDT had strong antibacterial activity against S. aureus. This approach has the potential to remove foodborne pathogens from liquid food. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Chemistry)
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13 pages, 1537 KiB  
Article
Changes in Chemical Composition of Flaxseed Oil during Thermal-Induced Oxidation and Resultant Effect on DSC Thermal Properties
by Zhenshan Zhang, Yunyi Wei, Ni Guan, Bingzheng Li and Yong Wang
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7135; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207135 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1511
Abstract
To investigate the changes in chemical composition of flaxseed oil during thermal-induced oxidation and the resultant effect on thermal properties, samples with different oxidation levels were obtained by being heated at 180 °C for two hours and four hours. The oxidation degree was [...] Read more.
To investigate the changes in chemical composition of flaxseed oil during thermal-induced oxidation and the resultant effect on thermal properties, samples with different oxidation levels were obtained by being heated at 180 °C for two hours and four hours. The oxidation degree was evaluated using peroxide value (PV), extinction coefficient at 232 nm and 268 nm (K232 and K268), and total polar compounds (TPC). Using chromatography, the fatty acid profile and triacylglycerol (TAG) profile were examined. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was used to determine the crystallization and melting profiles. Thermal-induced oxidation of flaxseed oil led to a significant increase (p < 0.05) in PV, K232, K268, and TPC, but the relative content of linolenic acid (Ln) and LnLnLn reduced dramatically (p < 0.05). TPC derived from lipid degradation affected both crystallization and melting profiles. Statistical correlations showed that the onset temperature (Ton) of the crystallization curve was highly correlated with K232, TPC, and the relative content of LnLnLn (p < 0.05), whereas the offset temperature (Toff) of the melting curve was highly correlated with the relative content of most fatty acids (p < 0.05). This finding provides a new way of rapid evaluation of oxidation level and changes of chemical composition for flaxseed oils using DSC. Full article
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15 pages, 4549 KiB  
Article
Euodia daniellii Hemsl. Extract and Its Active Component Hesperidin Accelerate Cutaneous Wound Healing via Activation of Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling Pathway
by Minguen Yoon, Seol Hwa Seo, Seonghwi Choi, Gyoonhee Han and Kang-Yell Choi
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7134; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207134 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1402
Abstract
The activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway plays a key role in the wound-healing process through tissue regeneration. The extract of Euodia daniellii Hemsl. (E. daniellii), a member of the Rutaceae family, activates the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. However, the function of [...] Read more.
The activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway plays a key role in the wound-healing process through tissue regeneration. The extract of Euodia daniellii Hemsl. (E. daniellii), a member of the Rutaceae family, activates the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. However, the function of E. daniellii in wound healing has not yet been elucidated. We performed a migration assay to determine the wound-healing effect of E. daniellii extract in vitro using human keratinocytes and dermal fibroblast. In addition, a mouse acute wound model was used to investigate the cutaneous wound-healing effect of E. daniellii extract in vivo and confirm the potential mechanism. E. daniellii extract enhanced the migration of human keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts via the activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Moreover, the E. daniellii extract increased the levels of keratin 14, PCNA, collagen I, and α-SMA, with nuclei accumulation of β-catenin in vitro. E. daniellii extract also efficiently accelerated re-epithelialization and stimulated wound healing in vivo. Furthermore, we confirmed that hesperidin, one of the components of E. daniellii, efficiently accelerated the migration of human keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts, as well as wound healing in vivo via the activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Overall, E. daniellii extract and its active component, hesperidin, have potential to be used as therapeutic agents for wound healing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Natural Compounds as Wound Healing Agents)
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13 pages, 3267 KiB  
Article
Polyacrylonitrile/Aminated Polymeric Nanosphere Nanofibers as Efficient Adsorbents for Cr(VI) Removal
by Junwen Qi, Mengli Zeng, Zhigao Zhu, Yujun Zhou, Xiuyun Sun and Jiansheng Li
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7133; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207133 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1088
Abstract
In this work, polyacrylonitrile/aminated polymeric nanosphere (PAN/APN) nanofibers were prepared by electrospinning of monodispersed aminated polymeric nanospheres (APNs) for removal of Cr(VI) from aqueous solution. Characterization results showed that obtained PAN/APNs possessed nitrogen functionalization. Furthermore, the adsorption application results indicated that PAN/APN nanofibers [...] Read more.
In this work, polyacrylonitrile/aminated polymeric nanosphere (PAN/APN) nanofibers were prepared by electrospinning of monodispersed aminated polymeric nanospheres (APNs) for removal of Cr(VI) from aqueous solution. Characterization results showed that obtained PAN/APNs possessed nitrogen functionalization. Furthermore, the adsorption application results indicated that PAN/APN nanofibers exhibited a high adsorption capacity of 556 mg/g at 298 K for Cr(VI) removal. The kinetic data showed that the adsorption process fits the pseudo-second order. A thermodynamic study revealed that the adsorption of Cr(VI) was spontaneous and endothermic. The coexisting ions Na+, Ca2+, K+, Cl, NO3 and PO43− had little influence on Cr(VI) adsorption, while SO42− in solution dramatically decreased the removal performance. In the investigation of the removal mechanism, relative results indicated that the adsorption behavior possibly involved electrostatic adsorption, redox reaction and chelation. PAN/APN nanofibers can detoxify Cr(VI) to Cr(III) and subsequently chelate Cr(III) on its surface. The unique structure and nitrogen functionalization of PAN/APN nanofibers make them novel and prospective candidates in heavy metal removal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environment-Friendly Polymers and Polymer Composites)
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18 pages, 6112 KiB  
Article
Alkaloid Derivative (Z)-3β-Ethylamino-Pregn-17(20)-en Inhibits Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Metastasis and Angiogenesis by Targeting HSP90α
by Xin-Yao Liu, Yu-Miao Wang, Xiang-Yu Zhang, Mei-Qi Jia, Hong-Quan Duan, Nan Qin, Ying Chen, Yang Yu and Xiao-Chuan Duan
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7132; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207132 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1528
Abstract
Metastasis is an important cause of cancer-related death. Previous studies in our laboratory found that pregnane alkaloids from Pachysandra terminalis had antimetastatic activity against breast cancer cells. In the current study, we demonstrated that treatment with one of the alkaloid derivatives, (Z [...] Read more.
Metastasis is an important cause of cancer-related death. Previous studies in our laboratory found that pregnane alkaloids from Pachysandra terminalis had antimetastatic activity against breast cancer cells. In the current study, we demonstrated that treatment with one of the alkaloid derivatives, (Z)-3β-ethylamino-pregn-17(20)-en (1), led to the downregulation of the HIF-1α/VEGF/VEGFR2 pathway, suppressed the phosphorylation of downstream molecules Akt, mTOR, FAK, and inhibited breast cancer metastasis and angiogenesis both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, the antimetastasis and antiangiogenesis effects of 1 treatment (40 mg/kg) were more effective than that of Sorafenib (50 mg/kg). Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) analysis was performed and the result suggested that HSP90α was a direct target of 1. Taken together, our results suggested that compound 1 might represent a candidate antitumor agent for metastatic breast cancer. Full article
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17 pages, 2208 KiB  
Article
Volatile Organic Compound Profiles of Cystoseira corniculata (Turner) Zanardini 1841 and Ericaria amentacea (C.Agardh) Molinari and Guiry 2020 (ex. Cystoseira amentacea (C.Agardh) Bory de Saint-Vincent, 1832)
by Sanja Radman and Igor Jerković
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7131; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207131 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1072
Abstract
The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of fresh (FrCC) and air-dried (DrCC) Cystoseria corniculata and fresh (FrEA) and air-dried (DrEA) Ericaria amentacea from the Adriatic Sea were investigated by headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) and hydrodistillation (HD) and analysed by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry [...] Read more.
The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of fresh (FrCC) and air-dried (DrCC) Cystoseria corniculata and fresh (FrEA) and air-dried (DrEA) Ericaria amentacea from the Adriatic Sea were investigated by headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) and hydrodistillation (HD) and analysed by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS). In HS-FrCC and HS-DrCC, aliphatic compounds were dominant, with decan-5-ol as the most abundant in HS-FrCC, but in HS-DrCC pentadecane dominated. Monoterpenes (β-cyclocitral, β-citral, and β-cyclohomocitral) and sesquiterpenes (cubenol) were abundant in HS-FrCC. Notable differences between fresh and air-dried samples were found for benzene derivatives. Fatty acids and their derivatives were the most abundant in HD-FrCC and HD-DrCC. In HS-FrEA and HS-DrEA, saturated aliphatic compounds as well as unsaturated aliphatic compounds (particularly hexan-1-ol and (Z)-hex-3-en-1-ol) predominantly showed decrements after drying. Pentadecane, heptadecane, pentadecanal, and hexan-1-ol were predominant in HD-FrEA, and their percentage decreased in HD-DrEA. The percentage of monoterpenes decreased after drying, but the percentages of diterpenes and especially sesquiterpenes increased. δ-Selinene was the major terpene and the most abundant in HD-DrEA. A significant increment after drying could be noticed for fatty acids and their derivatives. The great diversity of identified VOCs among these two macroalgae supports their different botanical classifications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chromatographic Science of Natural Products III)
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18 pages, 3097 KiB  
Article
A Hydrazine–Hydrazone Adamantine Compound Shows Antimycobacterial Activity and Is a Probable Inhibitor of MmpL3
by Julien Briffotaux, Yanji Xu, Wei Huang, Zhen Hui, Xiao Wang, Brigitte Gicquel and Shengyuan Liu
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7130; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207130 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1956
Abstract
Tuberculosis remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. Notably, an important number of multi drug resistant cases is an increasing concern. This problem points to an urgent need for novel compounds with antimycobacterial properties and to improve existing therapies. [...] Read more.
Tuberculosis remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. Notably, an important number of multi drug resistant cases is an increasing concern. This problem points to an urgent need for novel compounds with antimycobacterial properties and to improve existing therapies. Whole-cell-based screening for compounds with activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex strains in the presence of linezolid was performed in this study. A set of 15 bioactive compounds with antimycobacterial activity in vitro were identified with a minimal inhibitory concentration of less than 2 µg/mL. Among them, compound 1 is a small molecule with a chemical structure consisting of an adamantane moiety and a hydrazide–hydrazone moiety. Whole genome sequencing of spontaneous mutants resistant to the compounds suggested compound 1 to be a new inhibitor of MmpL3. This compound binds to the same pocket as other already published MmpL3 inhibitors, without disturbing the proton motive force of M. bovis BCG and M. smegmatis. Compound 1 showed a strong activity against a panel ofclinical strains of M. tuberculosis in vitro. This compound showed no toxicity against mammalian cells and protected Galleria mellonella larvae against M. bovis BCG infection. These results suggest that compound 1 is a promising anti-TB agent with the potential to improve TB treatment in combination with standard TB therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Biology)
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13 pages, 8334 KiB  
Article
Synthesis, In Vitro Anti-Microbial Analysis and Molecular Docking Study of Aliphatic Hydrazide-Based Benzene Sulphonamide Derivatives as Potent Inhibitors of α-Glucosidase and Urease
by Shoaib Khan, Shahid Iqbal, Mazloom Shah, Wajid Rehman, Rafaqat Hussain, Liaqat Rasheed, Hamad Alrbyawi, Ayed A. Dera, Mohammed Issa Alahmdi, Rami Adel Pashameah, Eman Alzahrani and Abd-ElAziem Farouk
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7129; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207129 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1569
Abstract
A unique series of sulphonamide derivatives was attempted to be synthesized in this study using a new and effective method. All of the synthesized compounds were verified using several spectroscopic methods, including FTIR, 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR, and HREI-MS, and their binding interactions [...] Read more.
A unique series of sulphonamide derivatives was attempted to be synthesized in this study using a new and effective method. All of the synthesized compounds were verified using several spectroscopic methods, including FTIR, 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR, and HREI-MS, and their binding interactions were studied using molecular docking. The enzymes urease and α-glucosidase were evaluated against each derivative (115). When compared to their respective standard drug such as acarbose and thiourea, almost all compounds were shown to have excellent activity. Among the screened series, analogs 5 (IC50 = 3.20 ± 0.40 and 2.10 ± 0.10 µM) and 6 (IC50 = 2.50 ± 0.40 and 5.30 ± 0.20 µM), emerged as potent molecules when compared to the standard drugs acarbose (IC50 = 8.24 ± 0.08 µM) and urease (IC50 = 7.80 ± 0.30). Moreover, an anti-microbial study also demonstrated that analogs 5 and 6 were found with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) in the presence of standard drugs streptomycin and terinafine. Full article
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41 pages, 12955 KiB  
Article
New Process for the Sulfonation of Algal/PEI Biosorbent for Enhancing Sr(II) Removal from Aqueous Solutions—Application to Seawater
by Mohammed F. Hamza, Eric Guibal, Khalid Althumayri, Thierry Vincent, Xiangbiao Yin, Yuezhou Wei and Wenlong Li
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7128; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207128 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1517
Abstract
Sulfonic resins are highly efficient cation exchangers widely used for metal removal from aqueous solutions. Herein, a new sulfonation process is designed for the sulfonation of algal/PEI composite (A*PEI, by reaction with 2-propylene-1-sulfonic acid and hydroxylamine-O-sulfonic acid). The new sulfonated functionalized sorbent (SA*PEI) [...] Read more.
Sulfonic resins are highly efficient cation exchangers widely used for metal removal from aqueous solutions. Herein, a new sulfonation process is designed for the sulfonation of algal/PEI composite (A*PEI, by reaction with 2-propylene-1-sulfonic acid and hydroxylamine-O-sulfonic acid). The new sulfonated functionalized sorbent (SA*PEI) is successfully tested in batch systems for strontium recovery first in synthetic solutions before investigating with multi-component solutions and final validation with seawater samples. The chemical modification of A*PEI triples the sorption capacity for Sr(II) at pH 4 with a removal rate of up to 7% and 58% for A*PEI and SA*PEI, respectively (with SD: 0.67 g L−1). FTIR shows the strong contribution of sulfonate groups for the functionalized sorbent (in addition to amine and carboxylic groups from the support). The sorption is endothermic (increase in sorption with temperature). The sulfonation improves thermal stability and slightly enhances textural properties. This may explain the fast kinetics (which are controlled by the pseudo-first-order rate equation). The sulfonated sorbent shows a remarkable preference for Sr(II) over competitor mono-, di-, and tri-valent metal cations. Sorption properties are weakly influenced by the excess of NaCl; this can explain the outstanding sorption properties in the treatment of seawater samples. In addition, the sulfonated sorbent shows excellent stability at recycling (for at least 5 cycles), with a loss in capacity of around 2.2%. These preliminary results show the remarkable efficiency of the sorbent for Sr(II) removal from complex solutions (this could open perspectives for the treatment of contaminated seawater samples). Full article
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12 pages, 3163 KiB  
Article
Silica Aerogel-Rubber Composite: A Sustainable Alternative for Buildings’ Thermal Insulation
by Patrícia Alves, Diogo Azeiteiro Dias and Ana Dora Rodrigues Pontinha
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7127; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207127 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2050
Abstract
Silica aerogel composites with recycled tire rubber have been synthesized and evaluated for their potential use for thermal protection in buildings. The present work describes for the first time the preparation of silica-based aerogel composites containing recycled rubber tires reinforced with polyvinyl butyral [...] Read more.
Silica aerogel composites with recycled tire rubber have been synthesized and evaluated for their potential use for thermal protection in buildings. The present work describes for the first time the preparation of silica-based aerogel composites containing recycled rubber tires reinforced with polyvinyl butyral (PVB) by hot pressing. The developed composite was extensively characterized regarding its physical, morphological, thermal and mechanical features, and the results showed their properties were relevant, leading to composites with different properties/performances. The obtained bulk density values were satisfactory, down to 474 kg·m−3, and very good thermal properties were achieved, namely, thermal conductivity as low as 55 mW·m−1·K−1 for composites with silica aerogel, recycled tire rubber and PVB. The most promising composites were those based on low bulk density and thermal conductivity values, and they were thermally stable, indicating their suitability for thermal insulation applications. Full article
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18 pages, 5664 KiB  
Article
Synthesis and Identification of New N,N-Disubstituted Thiourea, and Thiazolidinone Scaffolds Based on Quinolone Moiety as Urease Inhibitor
by Yaseen A. M. M. Elshaier, Ashraf A. Aly, Mohamed Abdel-Aziz, Hazem M. Fathy, Alan B. Brown, Stefan Bräse and Mohamed Ramadan
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7126; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207126 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1778
Abstract
Synthesis of thiazolidinone based on quinolone moiety was established starting from 4-hydroxyquinol-2-ones. The strategy started with the reaction of ethyl bromoacetate with 4-hydroxyquinoline to give the corresponding ethyl oxoquinolinyl acetates, which reacted with hydrazine hydrate to afford the hydrazide derivatives. Subsequently, hydrazides reacted [...] Read more.
Synthesis of thiazolidinone based on quinolone moiety was established starting from 4-hydroxyquinol-2-ones. The strategy started with the reaction of ethyl bromoacetate with 4-hydroxyquinoline to give the corresponding ethyl oxoquinolinyl acetates, which reacted with hydrazine hydrate to afford the hydrazide derivatives. Subsequently, hydrazides reacted with isothiocyanate derivatives to give the corresponding N,N-disubstituted thioureas. Finally, on subjecting the N,N-disubstituted thioureas with dialkyl acetylenedicarboxylates, cyclization occurred, and thiazolidinone derivatives were obtained in good yields. The two series based on quinolone moiety, one containing N,N-disubstituted thioureas and the other containing thiazolidinone functionalities, were screened for their in vitro urease inhibition properties using thiourea and acetohydroxamic acid as standard inhibitors. The inhibition values of the synthesized thioureas and thiazolidinones exhibited moderate to good inhibitory effects. The structure−activity relationship revealed that N-methyl quinolonyl moiety exhibited a superior effect, since it was proved to be the most potent inhibitor in the present series achieving (IC50 = 1.83 ± 0.79 µM). The previous compound exhibited relatively much greater activity, being approximately 12-fold more potent than thiourea and acetohydroxamic acid as references. Molecular docking analysis showed a good protein−ligand interaction profile against the urease target (PDBID: 4UBP), emphasizing the electronic and geometric effect of N,N-disubstituted thiourea. Full article
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17 pages, 2497 KiB  
Review
A Review on Cyanide Gas Elimination Methods and Materials
by Xuanlin Yang, Liang Lan, Ziwang Zhao, Shuyuan Zhou, Kai Kang, Hua Song and Shupei Bai
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7125; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207125 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2099
Abstract
Cyanide gas is highly toxic and volatile and is among the most typical toxic and harmful pollutants to human health and the environment found in industrial waste gas. In the military context, cyanide gas has been used as a systemic toxic agent. In [...] Read more.
Cyanide gas is highly toxic and volatile and is among the most typical toxic and harmful pollutants to human health and the environment found in industrial waste gas. In the military context, cyanide gas has been used as a systemic toxic agent. In this paper, we review cyanide gas elimination methods, focusing on adsorption and catalysis approaches. The research progress on materials capable of affecting cyanide gas adsorption and catalytic degradation is discussed in depth, and the advantages and disadvantages of various materials are summarized. Finally, suggestions are provided for future research directions with respect to cyanide gas elimination materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Potential Applications of Functional Porous Organic Frameworks)
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24 pages, 12995 KiB  
Article
Molecular Recognition of FDA-Approved Small Molecule Protein Kinase Drugs in Protein Kinases
by Yan Zhu and Xiche Hu
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7124; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207124 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1910
Abstract
Protein kinases are key enzymes that catalyze the covalent phosphorylation of substrates via the transfer of the γ-phosphate of ATP, playing a crucial role in cellular proliferation, differentiation, and various cell regulatory processes. Due to their pivotal cellular role, the aberrant function of [...] Read more.
Protein kinases are key enzymes that catalyze the covalent phosphorylation of substrates via the transfer of the γ-phosphate of ATP, playing a crucial role in cellular proliferation, differentiation, and various cell regulatory processes. Due to their pivotal cellular role, the aberrant function of kinases has been associated with cancers and many other diseases. Consequently, competitive inhibition of the ATP binding site of protein kinases has emerged as an effective means of curing these diseases. Decades of intense development of protein kinase inhibitors (PKIs) resulted in 71 FDA-approved PKI drugs that target dozens of protein kinases for the treatment of various diseases. How do FDA-approved protein kinase inhibitor PKI drugs compete with ATP in their own binding pocket? This is the central question we attempt to address in this work. Based on modes of non-bonded interactions and their calculated interaction strengths by means of the advanced double hybrid DFT method B2PLYP, the molecular recognition of PKI drugs in the ATP-binding pockets was systematically analyzed. It was found that (1) all the FDA-approved PKI drugs studied here form one or more hydrogen bond(s) with the backbone amide N, O atoms in the hinge region of the ATP binding site, mimicking the adenine base; (2) all the FDA-approved PKI drugs feature two or more aromatic rings. The latter reach far and deep into the hydrophobic regions I and II, forming multiple CH-π interactions with aliphatic residues L(3), V(11), A(15), V(36), G(51), L(77) and π-π stacking interactions with aromatic residues F(47) and F(82), but ATP itself does not utilize these regions extensively; (3) all FDA-approved PKI drugs studied here have one thing in common, i.e., they frequently formed non-bonded interactions with a total of 12 residues L(3),V(11), A(15), K(17), E(24),V(36),T(45), F(47), G(51), L(77), D(81) and F(82) in the ATP binding. Many of those 12 commonly involved residues are highly conserved residues with important structural and catalytic functional roles. K(17) and E(24) are the two highly conserved residues crucial for the catalytic function of kinases. D(81) and F(82) belong to the DFG motif; T(45) was dubbed the gate keeper residue. F(47) is located on the hinge region and G(51) sits on the linker that connects the hinge to the αD-helix. It is this targeting of highly conserved residues in protein kinases that led to promiscuous PKI drugs that lack selectivity. Although the formation of hydrogen bond(s) with the backbone of the hinge gives PKI drugs the added binding affinity and the much-needed directionality, selectivity is sacrificed. That is why so many FDA-approved PKI drugs are known to have multiple targets. Moreover, off-target-mediated toxicity caused by a lack of selectivity was one of the major challenges facing the PKI drug discovery community. This work suggests a road map for future PKI drug design, i.e., targeting non-conserved residues in the ATP binding pocket to gain better selectivity so as to avoid off-target-mediated toxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in the Development of Kinase Inhibitors)
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21 pages, 2167 KiB  
Article
Understanding the Antilymphoma Activity of Annona macroprophyllata Donn and Its Acyclic Terpenoids: In Vivo, In Vitro, and In Silico Studies
by Jesica Ramírez-Santos, Fernando Calzada, Jessica Elena Mendieta-Wejebe, Rosa María Ordoñez-Razo, Rubria Marlen Martinez-Casares and Miguel Valdes
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7123; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207123 - 21 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1539
Abstract
Annona macroprophyllata Donn (A. macroprophyllata) is used in traditional Mexican medicine for the treatment of cancer, diabetes, inflammation, and pain. In this work, we evaluated the antitumor activity of three acyclic terpenoids obtained from A. macroprophyllata to assess their potential as [...] Read more.
Annona macroprophyllata Donn (A. macroprophyllata) is used in traditional Mexican medicine for the treatment of cancer, diabetes, inflammation, and pain. In this work, we evaluated the antitumor activity of three acyclic terpenoids obtained from A. macroprophyllata to assess their potential as antilymphoma agents. We identified the terpenoids farnesyl acetate (FA), phytol (PT) and geranylgeraniol (Gg) using gas chromatography–mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) and spectroscopic (1H, and 13C NMR) methods applied to petroleum ether extract of leaves from A. macroprophyllata (PEAm). We investigated antitumor potential in Balb/c mice inoculated with U-937 cells by assessing brine shrimp lethality (BSL), and cytotoxic activity in these cells. In addition, to assess the potential toxicity of PEAm, FA, PT and Gg in humans, we tested their acute oral toxicity in mice. Our results showed that the three terpenoids exhibited considerable antilymphoma and cytotoxic activity. In terms of lethality, we determined a median lethal dose (LD50) for thirteen isolated products of PEAm. Gg, PT and AF all exhibited a higher lethality with values of 1.41 ± 0.42, 3.03 ± 0.33 and 5.82 ± 0.58 µg mL−1, respectively. To assess cytotoxic activity against U-937 cells, we calculated the mean cytotoxic concentration (CC50) and found that FA and PT were closer in respect to the control drug methotrexate (MTX, 0.243 ± 0.007 µM). In terms of antilymphoma activity, we found that FA, PT and Gg considerably inhibited lymph node growth, with median effective doses (ED50) of 5.89 ± 0.39, 6.71 ± 0.31 and 7.22 ± 0.51 mg kg−1 in females and 5.09 ± 0.66, 5.83 ± 0.50 and 6.98 ± 0.57mg kg −1 in males, respectively. Regarding acute oral toxicity, we classified all three terpenoids as category IV, indicating a high safety margin for human administration. Finally, in a molecular docking study of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase, we found binding of terpenoids to some amino acids of the catalytic site, suggesting an effect upon activity with a resulting decrease in the synthesis of intermediates involved in the prenylation of proteins involved in cancer progression. Our findings suggest that the acyclic terpenoids FA, PT, and Gg may serve as scaffolds for the development of new treatments for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Full article
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16 pages, 2571 KiB  
Article
Insights on Aggregation of Hen Egg-White Lysozyme from Raman Spectroscopy and MD Simulations
by Divya Chalapathi, Amrendra Kumar, Pratik Behera, Shijulal Nelson Sathi, Rajaram Swaminathan and Chandrabhas Narayana
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7122; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207122 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2071
Abstract
Protein misfolding and aggregation play a significant role in several neurodegenerative diseases. In the present work, the spontaneous aggregation of hen egg-white lysozyme (HEWL) in an alkaline pH 12.2 at an ambient temperature was studied to obtain molecular insights. The time-dependent changes in [...] Read more.
Protein misfolding and aggregation play a significant role in several neurodegenerative diseases. In the present work, the spontaneous aggregation of hen egg-white lysozyme (HEWL) in an alkaline pH 12.2 at an ambient temperature was studied to obtain molecular insights. The time-dependent changes in spectral peaks indicated the formation of β sheets and their effects on the backbone and amino acids during the aggregation process. Introducing iodoacetamide revealed the crucial role of intermolecular disulphide bonds amidst monomers in the aggregation process. These findings were corroborated by Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations and protein-docking studies. MD simulations helped establish and visualize the unfolding of the proteins when exposed to an alkaline pH. Protein docking revealed a preferential dimer formation between the HEWL monomers at pH 12.2 compared with the neutral pH. The combination of Raman spectroscopy and MD simulations is a powerful tool to study protein aggregation mechanisms. Full article
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15 pages, 3085 KiB  
Article
The Amomum tsao-ko Essential Oils Inhibited Inflammation and Apoptosis through p38/JNK MAPK Signaling Pathway and Alleviated Gentamicin-Induced Acute Kidney Injury
by Xiu-Jun Xu, Mei-Ling Zhang, Yan-Min Hou, Ke Zhang, Da-Hong Yao, Guo-Yu Li, Wei-Bing Kou, Hang-Yu Wang and Jin-Hui Wang
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7121; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207121 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1816
Abstract
The clinical application of gentamicin may lead to acute kidney injury (AKI), and the nephrotoxicity of gentamicin is related to the pathological mechanism of several oxidative and inflammatory cytokines. Plant-derived essential oils have good anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This study aimed to clarify [...] Read more.
The clinical application of gentamicin may lead to acute kidney injury (AKI), and the nephrotoxicity of gentamicin is related to the pathological mechanism of several oxidative and inflammatory cytokines. Plant-derived essential oils have good anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This study aimed to clarify the protective effect of Amomum tsao-ko essential oils (AOs) on gentamicin-induced AKI in rats and its possible mechanism. The rat AKI model was induced by intraperitoneal injection of gentamicin. After 14 days of oral AO treatment, the renal function and pathological changes of the kidney tissues were evaluated, and the level of kidney tissue oxidative stress was detected. The content of inflammatory cytokines was measured by ELISA. The expression of ERK1/2, JNK1/2, p38, NF-κB, caspase-3, and Bax/Bcl-2 proteins were estimated by Western blot analysis. The results showed that taking AO reduced the contents of serum urea and creatinine in AKI rats and improve the pathological changes and oxidative stress of the kidney tissue in rats. At the same time, AO reduced inflammation and apoptosis during AKI by regulating the MAPK pathway. The data show that AO has a protective effect on the kidneys and may be a potential drug for treating kidney injury. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products Chemistry)
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36 pages, 7726 KiB  
Article
Bioactive Platinum(IV) Complexes Incorporating Halogenated Phenylacetates
by Angelico D. Aputen, Maria George Elias, Jayne Gilbert, Jennette A. Sakoff, Christopher P. Gordon, Kieran F. Scott and Janice R. Aldrich-Wright
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7120; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207120 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2196
Abstract
A new series of cytotoxic platinum(IV) complexes (18) incorporating halogenated phenylacetic acid derivatives (4-chlorophenylacetic acid, 4-fluorophenylacetic acid, 4-bromophenylacetic acid and 4-iodophenylacetic acid) were synthesised and characterised using spectroscopic and spectrometric techniques. Complexes 18 were assessed on a [...] Read more.
A new series of cytotoxic platinum(IV) complexes (18) incorporating halogenated phenylacetic acid derivatives (4-chlorophenylacetic acid, 4-fluorophenylacetic acid, 4-bromophenylacetic acid and 4-iodophenylacetic acid) were synthesised and characterised using spectroscopic and spectrometric techniques. Complexes 18 were assessed on a panel of cell lines including HT29 colon, U87 glioblastoma, MCF-7 breast, A2780 ovarian, H460 lung, A431 skin, Du145 prostate, BE2-C neuroblastoma, SJ-G2 glioblastoma, MIA pancreas, the ADDP-resistant ovarian variant, and the non-tumour-derived MCF10A breast line. The in vitro cytotoxicity results confirmed the superior biological activity of the studied complexes, especially those containing 4-fluorophenylacetic acid and 4-bromophenylacetic acid ligands, namely 4 and 6, eliciting an average GI50 value of 20 nM over the range of cell lines tested. In the Du145 prostate cell line, 4 exhibited the highest degree of potency amongst the derivatives, displaying a GI50 value of 0.7 nM, which makes it 1700-fold more potent than cisplatin (1200 nM) and nearly 7-fold more potent than our lead complex, 56MESS (4.6 nM) in this cell line. Notably, in the ADDP-resistant ovarian variant cell line, 4 (6 nM) was found to be almost 4700-fold more potent than cisplatin. Reduction reaction experiments were also undertaken, along with studies aimed at determining the complexes’ solubility, stability, lipophilicity, and reactive oxygen species production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design, Synthesis and Applications of New Anti-cancer Agents II)
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12 pages, 692 KiB  
Article
Phytochemical Composition and In Vitro Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, Anticancer, and Enzyme-Inhibitory Activities of Artemisia nilagirica (C.B. Clarke) Pamp
by Jawaher J. Albaqami, Tancia P. Benny, Hamida Hamdi, Ammar B. Altemimi, Aswathi Moothakoottil Kuttithodi, Joice Tom Job, Anju Sasidharan and Arunaksharan Narayanankutty
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7119; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207119 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1693
Abstract
Plants have been employed in therapeutic applications against various infectious and chronic diseases from ancient times. Various traditional medicines and folk systems have utilized numerous plants and plant products, which act as sources of drug candidates for modern medicine. Artemisia is a genus [...] Read more.
Plants have been employed in therapeutic applications against various infectious and chronic diseases from ancient times. Various traditional medicines and folk systems have utilized numerous plants and plant products, which act as sources of drug candidates for modern medicine. Artemisia is a genus of the Asteraceae family with more than 500 species; however, many of these species are less explored for their biological efficacy, and several others are lacking scientific explanations for their uses. Artemisia nilagirica is a plant that is widely found in the Western Ghats, Kerala, India and is a prominent member of the genus. In the current study, the phytochemical composition and the antioxidant, enzyme-inhibitory, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer activities were examined. The results indicated that the ethanol extract of A. nilagirica indicated in vitro DPPH scavenging (23.12 ± 1.28 µg/mL), ABTS scavenging (27.44 ± 1.88 µg/mL), H2O2 scavenging (12.92 ± 1.05 µg/mL), and FRAP (5.42 ± 0.19 µg/mL). The anti-inflammatory effect was also noticed in the Raw 264.7 macrophages, where pretreatment with the extract reduced the LPS-stimulated production of cytokines (p < 0.05). A. nilagirica was also efficient in inhibiting the activities of α-amylase (38.42 ± 2.71 µg/mL), α-glucosidase (55.31 ± 2.16 µg/mL), aldose reductase (17.42 ± 0.87 µg/mL), and sorbitol dehydrogenase (29.57 ± 1.46 µg/mL). It also induced significant inhibition of proliferation in breast (MCF7 IC50 = 41.79 ± 1.07, MDAMB231 IC50 = 55.37 ± 2.11µg/mL) and colon (49.57 ± 1.46 µg/mL) cancer cells. The results of the phytochemical screening indicated a higher level of polyphenols and flavonoids in the extract and the LCMS analysis revealed the presence of various bioactive constituents including artemisinin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Bioactive Compounds and Human Health)
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25 pages, 4165 KiB  
Article
The Potential Neuroprotective Effect of Cyperus esculentus L. Extract in Scopolamine-Induced Cognitive Impairment in Rats: Extensive Biological and Metabolomics Approaches
by Marwa M. Saeed, Álvaro Fernández-Ochoa, Fatema R. Saber, Rabab H. Sayed, María de la Luz Cádiz-Gurrea, Amira K. Elmotayam, Francisco Javier Leyva-Jiménez, Antonio Segura-Carretero and Rania I. Nadeem
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7118; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207118 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1954
Abstract
The aim of the present study is to investigate the phytochemical composition of tiger nut (TN) (Cyperus esculentus L.) and its neuroprotective potential in scopolamine (Scop)-induced cognitive impairment in rats. The UHPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS analysis enabled the putative annotation of 88 metabolites, such as [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study is to investigate the phytochemical composition of tiger nut (TN) (Cyperus esculentus L.) and its neuroprotective potential in scopolamine (Scop)-induced cognitive impairment in rats. The UHPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS analysis enabled the putative annotation of 88 metabolites, such as saccharides, amino acids, organic acids, fatty acids, phenolic compounds and flavonoids. Treatment with TN extract restored Scop-induced learning and memory impairments. In parallel, TN extract succeeded in lowering amyloid beta, β-secretase protein expression and acetylcholine esterase (AChE) activity in the hippocampus of rats. TN extract decreased malondialdehyde levels, restored antioxidant levels and reduced proinflammatory cytokines as well as the Bax/Bcl2 ratio. Histopathological analysis demonstrated marked neuroprotection in TN-treated groups. In conclusion, the present study reveals that TN extract attenuates Scop-induced memory impairments by diminishing amyloid beta aggregates, as well as its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-apoptotic and anti-AChE activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Polyphenols in Human Health)
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12 pages, 1220 KiB  
Article
Bioanalytical Method Development, Validation and Stability Assessment of Xanthohumol in Rat Plasma
by Vancha Harish, Waleed Hassan Almalki, Ahmed Alshehri, Abdulaziz Alzahrani, Sami I. Alzarea, Imran Kazmi, Monica Gulati, Devesh Tewari, Dinesh Kumar Chellappan, Gaurav Gupta, Kamal Dua and Sachin Kumar Singh
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7117; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207117 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1457
Abstract
Xanthohumol (XH) a prenylated chalcone has diverse therapeutic effects against various diseases. In the present study, a bioanalytical method was developed for XH in rat plasma using reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography. The validation of the method was performed as per ICH [...] Read more.
Xanthohumol (XH) a prenylated chalcone has diverse therapeutic effects against various diseases. In the present study, a bioanalytical method was developed for XH in rat plasma using reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography. The validation of the method was performed as per ICH M10 guidelines using curcumin as an internal standard. The Isocratic elution method was used with a run time of 10 min, wherein the mobile phase ratio 0.1% v/v OPA (A): Methanol (B) was 15:85 v/v at flow rate 0.8 mL/min and injection volume of 20 µL. The chromatograms of XH and curcumin was recorded at a wavelength of 370 nm. The retention time for XH and curcumin was 7.4 and 5.8 min, respectively. The spiked XH from plasma was extracted by the protein precipitation method. The developed method was linear with R2 value of 0.9996 over a concentration range of 50–250 ng/mL along with LLOQ. The results of all the validation parameters are found to be within the accepted limits with %RSD value less than 2 and the percentage recovery was found to be greater than 95%. Based on the %RSD and percentage recovery results it was confirmed that the method was precise and accurate among the study replicates. LOD and LOQ values in plasma samples were found to be 8.49 ng/mL and 25.73 ng/mL, respectively. The stability studies like freeze thaw, short term and long-term stability studies were also performed, %RSD and percentage recovery of the XH from plasma samples were within the acceptable limits. Therefore, the developed bioanalytical method can be used effectively for estimation of XH in plasma samples. Full article
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19 pages, 4148 KiB  
Article
Heparin–Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for Theranostic Applications
by Nicolò Massironi, Miriam Colombo, Cesare Cosentino, Luisa Fiandra, Michele Mauri, Yasmina Kayal, Filippo Testa, Giangiacomo Torri, Elena Urso, Elena Vismara and Israel Vlodavsky
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7116; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207116 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2005
Abstract
In this study, superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) were engineered with an organic coating composed of low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) and bovine serum albumin (BSA), providing heparin-based nanoparticle systems (LMWH@SPIONs). The purpose was to merge the properties of the heparin skeleton and [...] Read more.
In this study, superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) were engineered with an organic coating composed of low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) and bovine serum albumin (BSA), providing heparin-based nanoparticle systems (LMWH@SPIONs). The purpose was to merge the properties of the heparin skeleton and an inorganic core to build up a targeted theranostic nanosystem, which was eventually enhanced by loading a chemotherapeutic agent. Iron oxide cores were prepared via the co-precipitation of iron salts in an alkaline environment and oleic acid (OA) capping. Dopamine (DA) was covalently linked to BSA and LMWH by amide linkages via carbodiimide coupling. The following ligand exchange reaction between the DA-BSA/DA-LMWH and OA was conducted in a biphasic system composed of water and hexane, affording LMWH@SPIONs stabilized in water by polystyrene sulfonate (PSS). Their size and morphology were investigated via dynamic light scattering (DLS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), respectively. The LMWH@SPIONs’ cytotoxicity was tested, showing marginal or no toxicity for samples prepared with PSS at concentrations of 50 µg/mL. Their inhibitory activity on the heparanase enzyme was measured, showing an effective inhibition at concentrations comparable to G4000 (N-desulfo-N-acetyl heparin, a non-anticoagulant and antiheparanase heparin derivative; Roneparstat). The LMWH@SPION encapsulation of paclitaxel (PTX) enhanced the antitumor effect of this chemotherapeutic on breast cancer cells, likely due to an improved internalization of the nanoformulated drug with respect to the free molecule. Lastly, time-domain NMR (TD-NMR) experiments were conducted on LMWH@SPIONs obtaining relaxivity values within the same order of magnitude as currently used commercial contrast agents. Full article
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16 pages, 3089 KiB  
Article
Combination Therapy of Carnosic Acid and Methotrexate Effectively Suppressed the Inflammatory Markers and Oxidative Stress in Experimental Arthritis
by Martin Chrastina, Silvester Poništ, Jaroslav Tóth, Szilvia Czigle, Ľudmila Pašková, Veronika Vyletelová, Karol Švík and Katarína Bauerová
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7115; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207115 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1594
Abstract
Background: Combination therapy with methotrexate (MTX) is the most common therapeutic strategy used for the treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In this study, we combined the natural compound carnosic acid (CA) with MTX to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in adjuvant [...] Read more.
Background: Combination therapy with methotrexate (MTX) is the most common therapeutic strategy used for the treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In this study, we combined the natural compound carnosic acid (CA) with MTX to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in adjuvant arthritis (AA). Methods: AA was induced in 6–8 rats per group. MTX was administrated twice a week at a dose of 0.3 mg/kg b.w., while CA was administered daily at a dose of 100 mg/kg both in monotherapy and in combination with MTX. Plasma samples were collected on the 14th, 21st, and 28th day. Body weight and hind paw volume were measured once a week. Results: We found that, mainly, the CA + MTX combination significantly reduced the hind paw swelling, the levels of IL-17A, MMP-9, and MCP-1 in plasma, and GGT activity in joint homogenates. The mRNA expression of HO-1, catalase, and IL-1β in the liver were significantly improved by CA + MTX only. Our results indicate that adding CA to MTX treatment could be a good therapeutic option for patients suffering from RA. Conclusions: The addition of CA to methotrexate treatment significantly improved its efficacy in decreasing the development of AA by inhibiting the markers of inflammation and oxidative stress. Full article
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8 pages, 2014 KiB  
Article
Viscoelastic Properties of Water-Absorbed Poly(methyl methacrylate) Doped with Lithium Salts with Various Anions
by Asae Ito, Arisa Shin and Koh-hei Nitta
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7114; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207114 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1067
Abstract
We investigated the effects of water absorption on the dynamic mechanical properties of poly(methyl methacrylate) doped with various generic lithium salts, such as lithium perchlorate trihydrate (LiClO4), lithium trifluoromethanesulfonate (LiCF3SO3), lithium nonafluorobutanesulfonate (LiC4F9SO [...] Read more.
We investigated the effects of water absorption on the dynamic mechanical properties of poly(methyl methacrylate) doped with various generic lithium salts, such as lithium perchlorate trihydrate (LiClO4), lithium trifluoromethanesulfonate (LiCF3SO3), lithium nonafluorobutanesulfonate (LiC4F9SO3), and lithium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (LiN(CF3SO2)). The rates of weight change during water absorption of lithium salt-doped samples were higher in the following order: LiClO4, LiCF3SO3, LiC4F9SO3, and LiN(CF3SO2). Interestingly, the aforementioned order was the same as the order of the terminal relaxation times in the flow region of the viscoelastic measurement in the melting-state. This implies that the water absorption of the salt-doped PMMA occurs due to the factors that affect the pinning of the PMMA molecular chains in the places. Full article
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12 pages, 3777 KiB  
Article
Identification of Natural Compounds as Inhibitors of Pyruvate Kinase M2 for Cancer Treatment
by Iqra Sarfraz, Azhar Rasul, Farhat Jabeen, Tayyaba Sultana and Şevki Adem
Molecules 2022, 27(20), 7113; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27207113 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2457
Abstract
The reliance of tumor cells on aerobic glycolysis is one of the emerging hallmarks of cancer. Pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2), an important enzyme of glycolytic pathway, is highly expressed in a number of cancer cells. Tumor cells heavily depend on PKM2 to fulfill [...] Read more.
The reliance of tumor cells on aerobic glycolysis is one of the emerging hallmarks of cancer. Pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2), an important enzyme of glycolytic pathway, is highly expressed in a number of cancer cells. Tumor cells heavily depend on PKM2 to fulfill their divergent energetic and biosynthetic requirements, suggesting it as novel drug target for cancer therapies. Based on this context, we performed enzymatic-assay-based screening of the in-house phenolic compounds library for the identification of PKM2 inhibitors. This screening identified silibinin, curcumin, resveratrol, and ellagic acid as potential inhibitors of PKM2 with IC50 values of 0.91 µM, 1.12 µM, 3.07 µM, and 4.20 µM respectively. For the determination of Ki constants and the inhibition type of hit compounds, Lineweaver–Burk graphs were plotted. Silibinin and ellagic acid performed the competitive inhibition of PKM2 with Ki constants of 0.61 µM and 5.06 µM, while curcumin and resveratrol were identified as non-competitive inhibitors of PKM2 with Ki constants of 1.20 µM and 7.34 µM. The in silico screening of phenolic compounds against three binding sites of PKM2 provided insight into the binding pattern and functionally important amino residues of PKM2. Further, the evaluation of cytotoxicity via MTT assay demonstrated ellagic acid as potent inhibitor of cancer cell growth (IC50 = 20 µM). These results present ellagic acid, silibinin, curcumin, and resveratrol as inhibitors of PKM2 to interrogate metabolic reprogramming in cancer cells. This study has also provided the foundation for further research to validate the potential of identified bioactive entities for PKM2 targeted-cancer therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds in Food Bioscience and Pharmacology)
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